Kamakahonu Beach Travel Guide (King Kam Beach) 2023

Heading to Kamakahonu Beach? Check out this complete guide!

If you’re heading to Hawaii’s Big Island and are looking for a great beach in Kona, look no further than Kamakahonu Beach! 

A popular destination for families, it is a small white sand beach with calm water, also known as King Kam Beach. Read on to see what makes this beach great and why you should add it to your Big Island itinerary. 

Kamakahonu Beach

Where is Kamakahonu Beach located?

Kamakahonu Beach is next to the King Kamehameha Kona Beach, Hotel, and the Kailua Pier. You can’t get much closer to downtown Kona than that! 

๐Ÿ“ Kamakahonu Beach Map

Kamakahonu Beach Map Hawaii
Click on the Image to Open the Map – ยฉ Google Maps

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ How to get to Kamakahonu Beach?

Kamakahonu Beach is north of Kailua Bay. Take Ali’i to drive north and then walk to the pier. 

If you need parking, a lot up Palani Road is only a few minutes away.  

Alternatively, you can always use the paid parking at the Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel

Kamakahonu Beach Operating Hours

King Kam Beach is open daily from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm. While it’s open all day, there’s no lifeguard on duty.

Kamakahonu Beach shore with people on the shore.
Kamakahonu Beach – Photo from Flickr by Peter

Kamakahonu Beach Amenities

Kamakahonu Beach has many amenities, making it perfect for any family outing. Not only are there restrooms, outdoor showers, and a picnic area, but it’s also close to a Beach shack for gear rentals.

Are you feeling peckish? Its proximity to downtown Kona means many delicious restaurants and shops are nearby. 

Kamakahonu Beach Swimming Conditions

With dense rocks on one side of the beach and the Kailua pier on the other, this beach is considered one of the best beaches in Kona, Big Island.

It’s a perfect spot for anyone looking to learn how to snorkel or swim or for a safe launching spot for their kayak or paddle board. If you’re traveling with young children, this beach is perfect!

Locals even call it “Keiki” (children’s) beach due to the calm conditions. 

View of the Kamakahonu Beach with nearby huts.
Kamakahonu Beach – Photo from Flickr by Nic_exotic

6 Things to Do in Kamakahonu Beach

While the calm waters at Kamakahonu Beach make it perfect for children, there’s plenty for everyone to do and enjoy! Check out the 6 best things to do at this tranquil beach.

1. Snorkeling

One of the best activities to do is snorkeling! Grab your snorkel and fins and head into the water to see brilliant-colored fish and coral. If you’re just starting, stay in the bay until you get the hang of it.

If you’ve snorkeled before, swim out of the bay and turn right for more varied marine life! 

Pro Tip: Early morning is generally the best time to go snorkeling. Conditions are typically calmer, making it easier to see fish.

View of tourists in Kamakahonu Beach swimming.
Kamakahonu Beach – Photo from Flickr by Fern Camacho

2. Swimming

The water depth in this bay ranges from 5-20 feet. Naturally calm, it’s an excellent spot for any level of swimmer to splash around in the ocean. Bring water shoes if you plan to go farther out, as it can get rocky. 

If you visit early in the year, you might see migrating humpback whales offshore. The best part? When you’re swimming, you can hear them singing underwater. 

Whale season is magical and makes being in the ocean even more fun.

3. Diving

While the maximum depth in the bay is about 20 feet, this is an excellent spot for a beginner to practice diving.

 If you’re more experienced, Kaiakeakua Beach, right next to the pier, is a better option. Stay within the buoys as large boats travel in and out of the area. 

View of the boats at Kamakahonu Beach near a hut.
Photo from Flickr by ginger.jengibre

4. Canoeing

Canoeing is a fantastic option to head out to the ocean. Rent a canoe from one of the many shore beach shops and head into the open waters. 

Kamakahonu Beach is a perfect launching spot!

5. Stand-up paddle boarding

This cove has tranquil waters, making it perfect for paddle boarding. Whether you’re a pro or heading out for the first time, you’ll enjoy being out on the glassy water in this bay.

Plus, you can rent equipment or sign up for paddle board lessons at one of the many beach shacks across the street. 

People paddle boarding on the ocean and yellow kayaks on the beach.
Photo from Flickr by Ping Zhou

6. Visit nearby historical and cultural sites

The name Kamakahonu means “turtle eye” in the Hawaiian language. This beach was named after a large rock that is now under the Kailua pier. 

Once inhabited by King Kamehameha I, this is the location of the ‘Ahu’ena Heiau (temple of the burning altar). The temple was reconstructed in 1970 and can be seen from this beach.

The hotel nearby also has some artifacts on display. 

History of Kamakahonu Beach

King Kamehameha I resided at Kamakahonu from 1812 until he died in 1819. He built various buildings, including his temple, ‘Ahu’ena Heiau (temple of the burning altar).

This temple was dedicated to Lono, the god of peace, prosperity, and agriculture. It was often the site of ritual ceremonies. 

King Kamehameha I is a significant figure in Hawaiian history, best known for uniting the islands. 

View of Lanikai and Kailua Beach in Hawaii.
Kailua Bay

Other Kona Beaches in Hawaii

It’s a fantastic location, and calm waters are one of the biggest draws for Kamakahonu beach park. However, there are a couple of other great beaches within walking distance. 

๐ŸŒŠ Kailua Bay and Kaiakeakua Beach

Located just on the other side of the pier, you’ll find Kailua Bay and Kaiakeakua Beach. While still reasonably sheltered, Kaiakeakua Beach is smaller.

This beach has no restrooms or showers, but you can head to Kamakahonu Beach if needed.

View of the Kailua Bay under a blue sky.
Kailua Bay – Photo from Canva

๐ŸŒŠ Niumalu Beach

Approximately 0.2 miles away is Niumalu Beach. Sheltered by a beach wall, there’s calm water to swim and enjoy. Typically quiet, this is a great spot to breathe and soak in nature.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kamakahonu Beach

Read on for some essential facts about Kamakahonu Beach!

Is Kamakahonu Beach public?

Yes, Kamakahonu Beach is public! There are no private beaches in the state of Hawaii.

Where to park at Kamakahonu Beach?

While there’s no parking lot at Kamakahonu beach park, there is a lot up Palani Road that is only a few minutes walk to the beach, or you can pay for parking at one of the hotels nearby.ย 

View of bay with palm trees and houses under dark clouds.
Photo from Flickr by nlsebastian

Kamakahonu Beach: Final Thoughts

With serene waters, a lovely little stretch of sand, and its historic location, Kamakahonu Beach is great to add to a day in Kona. 

Spend a few hours suntanning, swimming, or trying your hand at Paddleboarding before heading to one of the nearby restaurants and shops. 

Are you looking for beaches on the Hilo side of the island? Check out the 10 best beaches in Hilo for a fantastic time.